Monthly Archives: May 2011

Stephen’s Train4TradeSkills Blog: 31 May

Stephen Marlor is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. If you are a regular reader of Stephen’s blog, you will know all about how he blogs every week about how his training is going.

If you want to read other posts by Stephen, go to his blog at

 I’ve been looking at Unit 25 this week, taking it step by step and little by little. I’m expecting to finish it by next Tuesday and have been talking to the tutors, who have been helping me out. I would like to thank Barry, Richard and Corina for their help.

The work in the house has been signed off and the work went really well. We’ve got a new bathroom, shower, kitchen and a complete rewire. We’ve also got a new sure stop switch, which turns all the water off in the house and is much better than the old stopcock system.

We’ve also got a new heat detector and a smoke alarm, which can be tested every week and has sorted out the fault completely to comply with the new guidelines by the Welsh Assembly government.

 Like this blog? You can read other posts by Stephen on his blog at and follow him on Twitter at


Where to find the latest news from Train4TradeSkills

Want to find the latest plumbing, electrical or gas news related to your Train4TradeSkills course? If your here, you obviously know about the Train4TradeSkills News blog, but what other blogs do we have? The answer? Many. From the How to Guides Blog and the T4TS Radio Live Feed to My Local Electrician and the Discovery Channel’s Trades Hub, Train4TradeSkills News is all over the internet.

Read the document below from the Train4TradeSkills Scribd page to find out our online blogs:

Council’s who stop Solar PV schemes could get punished by government

The Government have been urged to clamp down on council’s that try to stop solar power schemes going through.

A leading renewable energy company has called upon the Government to stop councils going against laws intended to encourage solar power schemes.

Clear rules spell out how homeowners can have solar PV installed as long as the work is done by a fully approved contractor.

However, a number of councils are going against the Government’s guidance by wrongly telling people they require planning permission or Building Regulations approval.

David Hunt, a director with Eco Environments, said: “The Government’s rules are clear. Planning permission is not required unless you live in a listed building or conservation area and Building Regulations are not required as long as the homeowner uses a contractor under the Government’s Competent Person Scheme.

“The Government needs to make it absolutely clear to local authorities everywhere that they have a duty to adhere to these rules rather than standing in the way of progress.”

David added that he had been contacted by Shadow Energy Minister Huw Irranca-Davies who had promised to raise the matter in Parliament. Fellow Shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister Luciana Berger has also pledged to take the matter up with the Government as has Conservative MP Rory Stewart.

Train4TradeSkills Weekend Catch Up: 23-29 May

In case you missed what’s going on during the week, Train4TradeSkills introduces the WeekendCatch-Up, which will have all of the best stories from our blogs (and a few others) and the latest plumbing, electrician and construction industry news from the last week.

Here’s this week’s Weekend Catch Up for you:

Train4TradeSkills Nick Electrician1) The Best Bits from the Train4TradeSkills Student Bloggers

MONDAY: Stephen’s Train4TradeSkills Blog: 23 May –

TUESDAY: Nick talks about setting up his own electrical business –

WEDNESDAY: After his practical training, Cliff updates us all about his plumbing course in latest blog –

2) Are UK firms set to enjoy Rio construction party?

FRIDAY: UK contractors to win work in Brazil for 2016 Olympics? –

3) Construction job frenzy in Liverpool and Swansea

THURSDAY: Swansea Council doing their bit to create construction jobs and apprenticeships –

WEDNESDAY: Liverpool Uni to get £600m overhaul –

4) The Best Bits from Train4TradeSkills Radio

TUESDAY: Listen to Ken talk to T4TS Radio about his plumbing course –

THURSDAY: Plumbing student Pete talks about his plumbing work experience and tells you how to go about arranging work placements –

5) Random News Section: what’s going on in construction this week?

MONDAY: Nick Clegg unveils his political masterpiece  – the Green Investment Bank –

FRIDAY: Anglo-French relations heat up as plans for new £217 million Channel tunnel electricity plans unveiled –

T4TS SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS – Never miss a story from Train4TradeSkills News!

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The Best Bits from Train4TradeSkills Daily: 28 May

In addition to the Train4TradeSkills Weekend Catch Up (which is released every Sunday and includes the best bits from our blog over the last week), we now have our online newspaper – the Train4TradeSkills Daily.

Featuring the best bits and all the latest news from our Twitter pages, the Train4TradeSkills Daily has all the latest news, analysis and job news for plumbers, electricians and anyone in the construction industry.

If you are on Twitter, you can follow Train4TradeSkills on and see the daily paper at

Here’s the latest edition of Train4TradeSkills Daily:

UK contractors to win work in Brazil for 2016 Olympics?

The Brazilian construction industry is preparing for a mountain of construction work as both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games coming to South America in the next few years.

Now UK contractors involved in the construction of the 2012 Olympics in London are meeting five of the biggest Brazilian construction forms in a bid to win work for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.

The meeting has been orchestrated by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and will see companies who have experience on the Olympics (Arup, Atkins and Davis Langdon are some of the UK companies invited) to meet Brazilian firms OAS, Odebrecht and Andrade Gutierrez, amongst others.

Building News report that the UK firms will offer guidance and expertise on how to build world class, low-carbon stadiums and arenas, and offer the Brazilians advice on how to get the most out of their £8.6 billion Olympics warchest. This will give UK firms the chance to win work in Brazil for the 2016 Olympics and create new jobs for UK contractors.

The UKTI’s Andrew Bacchus confirmed this, saying “the objective is to get in front of the companies who will be picking up the big contracts for 2016, to help UK firms who want to be part of consortiums being put together, or part of these big firms’ supply chains.”

What do you think – do UK firms have much chance of winning contracts for the 2016 Rio Olympics? Let us know on here or on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.

Pete talks to T4TS Radio about how to arrange plumbing work experience

Pete Whitmarsh is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. The part-time teacher from Bournemouth talks to T4TS Radio about his course, getting plumbing work experience and how his practical training is progressing.

You can listen to Pete’s story at and you can listen on iTunes or your iPhone via AudioBoo at

Here’s Pete’s interview in full, from the Train4TradeSkills Scribd page:

Swansea Council doing their bit to create construction jobs and apprenticeships

Swansea Council are doing their bit to help the construction industry by helping tradespeople find work.

HVP Magazine reports that Swansea Council’s Corporate Building and Property Services Team are looking for 12 apprentices to take part in this year’s scheme. They are believed to be looking for plumbers to fill some of the roles.

The work will involve maintenance jobs and fixing facilities at tourist attractions in the city and working on new homes and buildings in Swansea. This is part of Swansea Council’s quota that 10% of their tradesmen and women will be apprentices.

Swansea Council’s apprenticeship scheme is one of a number of initiatives by the council to ensure that local contractors are hired for local projects.

The council is pioneering an initiative called “Beyond Bricks and Mortar” and are spending £90 million a year to persuade local companies who have been awarded local contracts to employ local people. Such schemes include upgrading homes in Clydach to the renovation of Oystermouth Castle.

Martin Nicholls, the Council’s Head of Service for Corporate Building and Property, said that, “the Council is setting an example by training the local workforce through apprenticeships and working to encourage others to do the same.”

This is positive news for the construction industry as Swansea Council are creating jobs for plumbers and electricians in the areas, as well as providing valuable work experience for trainees.

What do you think of schemes like the ones Swansea Council uses? Let us know and comment on here or on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.

Quintain to start London property push

Property specialists Quintain are launching a full-scale assault on the London housing market and plan to build thousands of new homes in the capital.

Quintain are planning to speed up their residential construction programme in London and take advantage of the 22 million sq ft of land they have (with planning approval) at their disposal.

Construction Enquirer report that Quintain are accelerating their plans for Greenwich and Wembley City, and have a number of major projects in the pipeline.

Among these are projects to build 600 flats in Greenwich, which have nearly been finished, 1,300 new homes in Wembley, new properties at Peninsula Quays and a site next to the River Thames, which will be close to the cable car scheme going ahead in London.

This construction push by Quintain will likely create new construction jobs in London, as a flurry of new homes are set to be built over the next couple of years.

After his practical training, Cliff updates us all about his plumbing course in latest blog

Cliff Raw is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills and is one of our student bloggers. After completing his first two weeks of practical training (read Cliff’s excellent two-part diary of his training here), Cliff updates us all about how his course is going.

You can read Cliff’s blog at and read all of his other posts, as well as some photos from his course. You can also follow Cliff on Twitter at

Here’s Cliff’s latest blog:

Well its been a busy week with me feeling very enthused after my two week practical training in Featherstone. I am straight back into my books and have completed modules 20-22.

• Increasing Sales

• Financial & Legal Considerations

• Networking

So let’s take a look at each in turn – starting with increasing sales. We all know that a business doesn’t just happen and that the amount of blood, sweat and tears that it takes to make a successful business is endless, so knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are is paramount so we can learn and develop successful strategies to turn ourselves into confident and successful businesses.

Understanding the market you’re about to enter and having realistic idea of the market share and competition in an ever changing market. Obviously pouring endless amounts of money into advertising may not give you the desired result and could leave you out of pocket so careful consideration is the key here.

Financial & legal considerations. This is a very important part of pre-business thinking because if you get it wrong, “let’s not go there”. I can’t stress enough the importance of this module and the need to take good legal advice before venturing out into your business life.

My advice is to get the best accountant and legal representation you can afford and keeping accurate books yourself. As a practical exercise I am doing this now even though I don’t intend to start my own business just yet. Good office practises is a must and it’s better to get a good understanding of the use of spreadsheets, databases and word processing now rather than struggle when the time comes to start your business as time will be at a premium then.

And finally: Networking. This is not the most obvious of subjects as the whole idea of networking is somewhat vague. So what is networking ? Consider how many people you have already met during your lifetime, they are your ready-made network team. No matter how busy you find yourself it is important to make time for friends and family, they are your best advocates then there are the people outside that circle that you have daily contact with ie: your newsagent or the person you talk to wile walking your dog in fact anyone is a potential member of your network team so the way you present yourself to the outside world should be considered, Always be polite and professional and never be dismissive you could be let work pass you by!

It’s also worth considering joining a local networking group in your area even if it means giving up even more of your time the rewards of such an endeavour are excellent.

That’s me done for another week thanks for reading I’ll be back next week to talk about modules 23 and 24

• Owner’s leadership and delegation skills

• Tools and setting up a workshop

If you like this blog and want to read more posts by Cliff, check out his blog at